ABU DHABI // Burst tyres have caused two fatalities and 11 serious injuries during the first five months of this year, according to figures from the Abu Dhabi Traffic and Patrols Directorate.
Brig Hussein Al Harethi, head of the directorate, highlighted the Abu Dhabi-Al Ghweifat motorway as a particular area of concern.
"Abu Dhabi police is going to intensify around-the-clock patrols on all the external roads, particularly on the Abu Dhabi-Ghweifat road, which is the most important link between the UAE and its neighbouring countries," he said.
Load has a big impact on tyre performance, Brig Al Harethi said. He urged drivers of light vehicles to comply with height regulations, which require that the load does not rise more than 60cm above the vehicle.
Drivers who do not comply are subject to a Dh200 fine, vehicle confiscation for one week and three black points on their driving record. Offenders who operate heavy vehicles are subject to a Dh500 fine, vehicle confiscation for one week, and six black points on their driving record.
Brig Al Harethi added that 286 drivers of light vehicles were issued violations last summer between July 1 and August 13.
He also asked motorists to exercise caution when driving during the summer and to pay attention to the quality of tyres they purchase. "The friction caused between the tyre and the asphalt creates a temperature that can reach 55°C, which increases the risk of a burst tyre," he said. "The chance of it bursting is even higher if the tyre has manufacturing flaws."
According to figures from the directorate, there were nine fatalities and 11 serious injuries between June 1 and September 12 last year due to tyre bursts.
Tyres are not the only danger when driving in the heat. Engines can also overheat, Brig Al Harethi said.
"If this occurs, stop on the hard shoulder and turn on the hazard lights," he said. "Open the engine cover and wait for the car to completely cool down. Fill the radiator with water and make sure you close the lid tightly. Then head to the nearest workshop."